Jon Gruden Being Accused of ‘Blatant Tampering’ With Richard Sherman

Jon Gruden might be in some serious trouble.

The Las Vegas Raiders head coach recently appeared on Cris Collinsworth and Richard Sherman’s podcast and quite possibly have gotten himself in trouble for showing that his team will be interested in “an alpha presence in our secondary,” like the cornerback he was speaking to.

Collinsworth: “I know there’s tampering rules out there and I don’t want to bring up anything that might create a problem for you, because I know that you’ve been fined a few shekels over the years.”

Gruden: “I’ve been fined, I’ve been punished very, very harshly. Richard Sherman, if you are a free agent, which there is a rumor you are, we are looking for an alpha presence in our secondary. Somebody that could play this Hawk 3-press technique with the read step. If you’re available and interested, maybe you and I can get together at some point off air.”

Said Sherman in response: “There’s a conversation to be had, for sure. I am free and available these days.”

Sherman will become eligible for free agency this offseason, however, he is still technically employed by the San Francisco 49ers. Any outside organization are prohibited from discussing interest in any player until March 15th, when the legal tampering window opens.

An anonymous general manager reached out to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk to say that Gruden’s actions demonstrate “blatant tampering.”

From page 5 of the NFL’s Anti-Tampering Policy: “Any public or private statement of interest, qualified or unqualified, in another club’s player to that player’s agent or representative, or to a member of the news media, is a violation of this Anti-Tampering Policy. (Example of a prohibited comment: ‘He’s an excellent player, and we’d very much like to have him if he were available, but another club holds his rights.’)”

PFT also asked the NFL to comment on the situation and they declined.